What I’m replacing, and what I’m embracing.

Are you tired of piling things on your plate — without taking anything off? Me too.

We all do it. And maybe 2021 is the year we stop!

To start my year off right, I went to the Marketing Mentor virtual retreat. The theme was replacing. I attended last year’s in-person retreat in Savannah, which was replaced this year by a virtual retreat. But whether these retreats are in-flesh or online, I love them. I get time, space and inspiration to do some big picture thinking about where I want my business to go. It feels great to start the new year from this place.

We work in our businesses so much — it’s really good to work on our businesses, especially at the start of a new year! Right? 

It hit me when she talked about socks.

Ilise (the Marketing Mentor) said that whenever she buys new socks, she throws away two pairs of old ones. 

My socks only get thrown away when they’re holey. Like, really holey. Maybe it’s time to let them go before they get to that place?!

When my kids have holes in their socks — I throw them away. So why am I hanging onto holey socks for myself? It’s time to GET OVER this mentality and replace it with something better. I deserve nice socks without holes, and so does my business.

The retreat posed the question, “What can you replace?” Ilise suggested three areas of possible replacement: Clients, Processes and Behaviors.

Here’s how this relates  to me: 

  1. Clients. I have really great clients, which is a result of a lot of factors including my onboarding process.
  2. Processes. Here’s an opportunity! I’m always looking to improve my processes, and lately my project management process is getting to a breaking point. Because the tool is so simple and I love it so much, I’ve been using Teux Deux for project management. However, it’s probably not the best fit for this. Other tools I’ve checked out have been too complicated. I want to keep it simple! At the retreat, I received some great advice and recommendations for tools to look into. I’ve seen the big changes that come from implementing new processes, like my onboarding process, and things like inbox zero. There’s definitely more I could be embracing. To do: Explore new tools for project management. 
  3. Behaviors. I’m hard on myself. I let myself get overwhelmed. And when I do, my communication skills aren’t as effective as I’d like. I would love to replace stress with staying ahead of the curve. I think this comes back to project management. Once I have a better way of fielding various client requests when they all come out of the woodwork at once, I think less-overwhelm will be a natural result. I also think that if I find a better way to manage client expectations, especially under stress, things will be easier. To do: Figure out how I can communicate expectations more effectively with my clients and be kinder to myself.

Ultimately, the less overwhelmed I am, the more nailed-down my process is, and the better I am at communicating, the more efficient and happy I am — and the more my clients (and family) benefit. That is motivation for replacing if I’ve ever seen it! 

(Speaking of efficient, Ilise also helped me create a product this year to generate some passive income. Listen to our podcast about passive income here.) 

Moving into 2021 with grace.

I picked my word of the year before the retreat, but at the retreat, I realized it’s more necessary than ever. My word of the year is GRACE. I need to give myself grace when I’m overwhelmed. I need to ask for and expect grace from my clients. And I need to continue to remember to give grace to others. This has been a hard year for everyone, and as far as I can see — there’s no such thing as too much grace.

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Hi, I’m Jill, a web designer/developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. I’m passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative WordPress websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences. See my work & get my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers.

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